Delivered in Plenary 13th November 2001
The EPP-ED Group broadly welcomes this long overdue overhaul of the 1976 directive as part of the Single Market in Financial Services which utilizes the financial passport or single licence concept. This involves minimal harmonisation and setting of professional standards and consumer safeguards with mutual recognition between member states to enable brokers to enjoy freedom of establishment throughout the Union with rules to ensure prudential rules for the good conduct of their business.
I congratulate the Rapporteur Mr Berenguer on his largely cooperative cross party approach in Committee appropriate to a technical Report which provides quality assurance to the consumer and it is worth noting that approximately 95% of European consumers use the services of Insurance brokers and will be affected by this Directive along with the 100 000 Insurance practitioners.
The vast majority of areas of political difference were resolved in a series of compromise amendments as well as those requirements due to the particular structure to the German Industry.
I was delighted at the adoption of a large number of my own amendments ranging from exemptions to cater for the travel industry, to enabling the recognition of the role of the computer and the internet in the future role of e-commerce for insurance as well as safeguards for 3 yearly review of eligibility for registration and protection for business placed offshore outside of the EU.
This report hopefully will not increase the burden of cost or difficulty to conduct normal business practice to intermediaries but at the same time open-up a competitive and transparent market throughout the 15 member states which ultimately by providing volume and economy of scales will provide savings which will be handed down to the citizens of the EU.